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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Charleston in Kanawha County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Presidential Presence

Tending to Family, Fort, and Ferry

 
 
Presidential Presence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 2, 2012
1. Presidential Presence Marker
Inscription. Camp White, the main Union camp at Charleston, was located directly across the Kanawha River from here. Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, 23rd Ohio Infantry, occupied the camp and Charleston in March 1863. He ordered his men to build a fort on top of the hill to your right, where Confederate artillery had shelled Federal troops during the Battle of Charleston on September 13, 1862. Fort Scammon strengthened the Union army’s control over the Kanawha and Elk Rivers, the James River and Kanawha Turnpike, and the ferry that connected Charleston to the main road south.

On June 15, 1863, Hayes’s wife Lucy Hayes, their four young sons, and her mother visited Camp White. The family had just settled into a cottage when the youngest son, 18 month-old Joseph, fell ill with dysentery and died. Within a week, Lucy Hayes returned to Ohio with her grief-stricken children and mother. After the war, Rutherford Hayes was elected a U.S. Senator and then governor of Ohio. He was elected President of the United States in 1877.

Another future president, William McKinley enlisted in Hayes’s regiment in 1861 as a private. For McKinley’s courage and coolness under fire, Hayes promoted him first to sergeant and then to lieutenant. McKinley mustered out in 1865 as a captain.

"We have nearly finished a tolerable fort, and have a gunboat. I
Presidential Presence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 2, 2012
2. Presidential Presence Marker
have thirteen pieces of artillery."
- Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, Camp White, May 17, 1863

"Conley heard a couple of ladies singing secesh songs as if for his ear in a fine dwelling in town. Joe has got his revenge by obtaining an order for use three rooms for hospital patients. The announcement caused grief and dismay - they fear smallpox (a chase has appeared). I think Joe repents his victory now." - Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, Apr. 5, 1863, letter to wife, Lucy W. Hayes
 
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 21.042′ N, 81° 38.388′ W. Marker is in Charleston, West Virginia, in Kanawha County. Marker is at the intersection of Kanawha Boulevard and Court Street, on the right when traveling south on Kanawha Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 471 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston WV 25301, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Military Occupation ( here, next to this marker); Battle of Charleston ( approx. 0.3 miles away); State Capitol ( approx. 0.3 miles away); The Block
Presidential Presence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 2, 2012
3. Presidential Presence Marker
( approx. half a mile away); First Gas Well ( approx. 0.6 miles away); Fort Lee ( approx. 0.6 miles away); Fort Clendenin ( approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named The Block ( approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charleston.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 379 times since then and 32 times this year. Last updated on September 15, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 3, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234.   3. submitted on September 4, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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